Managing a warehouse can be challenging. Warehouses often incur huge losses due to inventory shortcomings due to warehouse pilferage- commonly known as stealing things of little value. These small thefts usually occur within the warehouse and are caused by internal warehouse employees. This situation can be gotten into control and avoided with the right processes in place. There is no straightforward solution to pilferage. It can be curbed with multiple processes, which will be discussed in this article to help you reduce theft at your warehouse facilities.

Here’s how you can start with spotting the theft

You must always ensure that your inventory is always up to date. So that you can easily track any inconsistencies in the inventory that leads to losses, make sure your stock is accurately assessed on the books or software.

Not every inventory discrepancy directs towards theft

Discrepancies in your warehouse inventory are not unusual, but they must not go beyond set limits. Before inching towards theft, you can look at other ways the items might have gone missing. A few reasons you might be experiencing losses are damage, spoilage, and outdated or destroyed items. Have you wondered how many perishable goods expire or get damaged due to improper storage conditions?Inventory shrinkage in your warehouse is normal, but anything beyond limits needs immediate attention. You often won’t even realise the drops in inventory stocks for months which can cause huge losses. Accuracy in inventory data will help you identify stock gaps and drive faster actions.

Red Flags that might indicate warehouse pilferage:

1. Inventory stock isn’t matching your stock records.

2. Stocks seem to dip on days when some specific staff is on duty.
3. Do not blind eye staff rumors on thefts.

4. You can spot stock constantly at exits or loading bays.It’s essential to take security measures to avoid theft altogether. Remember that it’s challenging to prove theft unless someone is caught in the act, so amp up your warehouse security. It’s easier to spot stock gaps when there is valid data to back them up. Take precautionary measures, raise awareness and identify weak points. It will help limit the opportunity of pilferage.

How to prevent warehouse pilferage?Stringent hiring process – Employee background checks

Well, every company runs a background check on their employees and doing so can help you hire employees without past criminal records, which will, in turn, reduce the chances of theft at the workplace.

Background checks also ensure the integrity of the hiring process by benefiting honest candidates who provide accurate information about their qualifications.

Check with past employers to find their reasons for exit and how long they worked there to understand the candidate’s credibility. Even after all the background checks, if you are still unsure about the candidate’s credibility, avoid hiring them.

Raise Awareness about Company Policy on Pilferage
Ensure that your employees understand workplace policies and sign a code of conduct. Make sure your employees are well aware of your company’s policy on theft. They must understand the zero-tolerance policy regarding frauds and robberies. They could lose their job, and the company shall take legal action.

You can set up an anonymous channel where the staff can report suspicious activity. If everyone is aware of the anonymous channel, there are fewer chances of employees committing thefts. Comply with company policy and take actions against thefts immediately. If you encounter severe discrepancies around the warehouse stocks, make sure you notice and take steps like strictly monitoring activity in the warehouse.

If you notice any suspicious activity around the warehouse, make sure you take the investigation further. This way, the warehouse staff will know they are under continuous supervision and avoid getting involved in pilferage or fraud.

Increased managerial supervision
Regularly supervising the warehouse floor can help avoid theft. As good as it sounds, managers have a considerable workload apart from watching warehouse floors. A warehouse management solution will allow managers to track and monitor the behavior and performance of employees overtime. The manager’s office can be assigned near the warehouse to be easily accessible to supervise.

Limit Stock Access
You can prevent theft by creating barriers in the warehouse by separating the receiving and shipping docks wherever possible. Keep the inventory storage locations far from the shipping and receiving areas. The only stock near those areas is the incoming and outgoing cargo. This way, you can prevent the new stock from exiting even before entering the warehouse. Avoid unauthorised access into the warehouse by providing an exclusive lounge area for visiting truck drivers. This way, only the warehouse staff will access the warehouse space.

Security Systems at the Warehouse
Robust security systems will avoid thefts and even provide evidence of thefts if they occur. The cameras must be placed at high-risk areas and install security mirrors to help you achieve visibility even in the camera’s blind spots. Ensure that cameras are placed in the receiving and shipping areas, entrances and exits. Ensure every vehicle exiting the warehouse is inspected to avoid unauthorised shipments leaving the warehouse premises.

Understand the Motivation Behind Thefts
You must understand why employees steal; this way, you can effectively decrease the thefts. For example, when an employee is financially struggling or in poverty, in another case, they might be opportunistic or feel entitled to stealing items from the warehouse.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to spot thefts, how to control pilferages and understand the motivation behind them.

If you are searching for a Warehouse and logistics provider, BlueLine has a wide range of services that will fulfil all your warehousing and logistic needs. Visit our website or contact us to know more.